Monday, March 21, 2016

Best Case/Worst Case: Dancing with the Stars (Spring)

Best Case/Worst Case lays out possible scenarios for broadcast primetime TV seasons yet to premiere. Here's what's premiering tonight!

Dancing with the Stars
2.10 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
125 2.22 Monday 8:00
y2y:-10% +1%

Timeslot OccupantsDancing with the Stars Fall The Bachelor
Avg Orig Avg
1.87 1.90 1.85 1.76 2.35 2.01

In a Nutshell: After bottoming out as a just-above-average show in the 2012-13 season, Dancing with the Stars made an impressive recovery back to hit levels over the next three cycles. The last two (spring 2015 and fall 2015) have seen that comeback slow essentially to a halt, but it's still been a steady performer.

Best Case: The Voice may have briefly seized the momentum again in the timeslot this fall, but 2016 has been all about ABC, with The Bachelor finishing on the year-to-year upside in raw numbers while NBC has underwhelmed with The Biggest Loser and even The Voice. That momentum will continue to DWTS, a show that has frequently gotten better ratings in the spring than in the fall. It joins The Bachelor with narrow raw numbers growth to a 2.15.

Worst Case: It is an underwhelming cast this season; you know when there are three NFL players that they had to scramble at the last minute to fill it out. Bachelor excepted, many of the reality warhorses have slumped a bit lately, and ABC as a network is certainly not trending in the right direction. It joins The Voice in dropping a little over 20% to a 1.61.

Likeliest: I could see this going either way; The Voice's significant slippage early in the spring does seem like an opportunity, but I don't really sense the cultural momentum being on DWTS' side the way it has been with The Bachelor. So I'm just sticking with the very low teens drop that DWTS has taken the last two seasons, and thus slightly smaller ratings than it got in the fall. 1.85.

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